Jump to content

BCSpace

Recommended Posts

One of the rationalizations that has been used on this thread in defense of the professor is that the lesson wasn't intended to offend anyone. I find it difficult to support such a claim. An experienced professor teaching this lesson could not be unaware that at least some deeply believing Christians would find the exercise offensive. Even someone new to the lessons would, if they had any kind of coherent thought process, realize that it could be potentially offensive. Hence, if the professor made the claim that this exercise wasn't intended to offend, but let the exercise flow without prior explanation, it would be disingenuous at best, and dishonest at worst.

Contrary to the opinions of some who have posted here, anti religion/christian sentiment has been on the rise on campuses for decades. My own father watched it take root at UC Berkeley in the 1960's. It's now merely a matter of testing the boundaries to see what you can get away with and if no one complains or if you can put down or silence all resistance you have established a new high water mark in anti religious bigotry and intolerance.

Link to comment

Evidently someone who points out the flaws in your perspective - and offers alternative explanations - becomes "self righteous" since they disagree with you.

It's difficult to "agree to disagree" when you want to end with this kind of personal epithet. Perhaps you should review your own posts and look in the mirror before you make that kind of accusation.

And please don't think that adding a little smiley face makes everything just peachy after such an accusation, as if you can just "move on". It doesn't.

You have to figure out the difference between pointing out flaws in a different perspective and just disagreeing with someone.

You haven't pointed out any flaws, you've just tried to make me feel guilty for having an opinion that you believe is less righteous than yours.

And that's why I labeled your post self righteous.

:D

Link to comment

The problem with this exercise is that it's subjecting people to what they consider to be sacrilegious behavior whether they choose to stomp on it or not. Just to witness other people doing it could be extremely upsetting.

It could be, but hopefully that was the point of the whole exercise-being able to understand symbolism better and understand why it's important.

I'd rather have that taught in college than the Muslim type of thinking where no one is ever allowed to do something with a symbol that you find sacred without threat of retaliation.

We keep referring to that those kinds of Muslim reactions in this thread like they are a bad thing, but if this student really did threaten the teacher (and maybe the school got that wrong) then he's behaving exactly like certain Muslims do and that doesn't seem to be anything to laud.

Link to comment

You have to figure out the difference between pointing out flaws in a different perspective and just disagreeing with someone.

You haven't pointed out any flaws, you've just tried to make me feel guilty for having an opinion that you believe is less righteous than yours.

And that's why I labeled your post self righteous.

:D

I didn't point out any flaws? Then what, pray tell, did I do in post #48 where I expanded on a significant flaw in your rationalizations that I'd noted earlier?

Nice try, though, at psychological profiling and mind reading as to my intent. Don't quit your day job.

And please, let's be accurate here. You didn't label my post self righteous; you labeled me as self righteous. Since I mentioned nothing in my posts about the personal righteousness, faithfulness, or other qualities of anyone - including you - who might disagree with me, your injection of the personal accusation of self righteousness into this discussion is a total concoction on your part.

Maybe to make this interesting, we can dig into your assertion that the whole experiment of stomping on a piece of paper with "Jesus" written on it is innocuous and nothing to get bent out of shape about. We can talk a bit about the reality of deep Christian faith related to Christ on a very real level for many people, and how such experiments can easily be viewed as an attack on or denigration of that faith. And then we can note that when I talked about how such deep faith-based relationships can have a significant impact on how people view such experiments, you simply dismissed it with a glib "That's your opinion" as if you doing so somehow proved it was irrelevant.

We could also delve into the increasing secularization of public schools and universities, and the clear anti-religion trend that is growing at those institutions, that should be taken into account in situations like the one described in the OP. Perhaps you don't believe that's happening, since you seem to be siding with the professor and the school despite the troubling issues raised by the situation. Should it turn out that there were actually threats or physical altercation involved, then that would change the situation, but in reality, the university has apologized for its actions, so that seems to shut the door on that. As BCSpace noted, it does look like someone was trying to push the boundaries and got caught.

Or is all of that too disturbing for your world view, and you'd rather just label someone who brings up such points as "self righteous" and scamper away from the situation?

Link to comment

Hypothetically, of course, let's say that I had a relationship with Christ where I know He was my Savior, I was acutely aware of what He has done for me, I knew what He had suffered out of His love for me, and I loved Him deeply. It's hard to see how, if a professor told me to write His name on a piece of paper and stomp on it, I could not be deeply offended and disturbed by such a request - especially as others in the room did what the professor told them to do. I would have a hard time, given what we know, of saying that he "blew the whole thing out of proportion", especially since there was no evidence of any physical violence involved.. Such an accusation must, by its nature, ignore the deep and living effect that sacred experiences and relationships have on people.

The Savior refused to rail against people who executed him. I think we can try and do likewise about those who perform a minor act against a symbol representing Him.

Contrary to the opinions of some who have posted here, anti religion/christian sentiment has been on the rise on campuses for decades. My own father watched it take root at UC Berkeley in the 1960's. It's now merely a matter of testing the boundaries to see what you can get away with and if no one complains or if you can put down or silence all resistance you have established a new high water mark in anti religious bigotry and intolerance.

Yep, it is all a conspiracy. :rolleyes:

Universities have become increasingly secular but that is to be expected as society itself is becoming increasingly secular. The idea that there is a concerted effort to stomp out religion seems like paranoia.

Link to comment

I didn't point out any flaws? Then what, pray tell, did I do in post #48 where I expanded on a significant flaw in your rationalizations that I'd noted earlier?

Nice try, though, at psychological profiling and mind reading as to my intent. Don't quit your day job.

And please, let's be accurate here. You didn't label my post self righteous; you labeled me as self righteous. Since I mentioned nothing in my posts about the personal righteousness, faithfulness, or other qualities of anyone - including you - who might disagree with me, your injection of the personal accusation of self righteousness into this discussion is a total concoction on your part.

Maybe to make this interesting, we can dig into your assertion that the whole experiment of stomping on a piece of paper with "Jesus" written on it is innocuous and nothing to get bent out of shape about. We can talk a bit about the reality of deep Christian faith related to Christ on a very real level for many people, and how such experiments can easily be viewed as an attack on or denigration of that faith. And then we can note that when I talked about how such deep faith-based relationships can have a significant impact on how people view such experiments, you simply dismissed it with a glib "That's your opinion" as if you doing so somehow proved it was irrelevant.

We could also delve into the increasing secularization of public schools and universities, and the clear anti-religion trend that is growing at those institutions, that should be taken into account in situations like the one described in the OP. Perhaps you don't believe that's happening, since you seem to be siding with the professor and the school despite the troubling issues raised by the situation. Should it turn out that there were actually threats or physical altercation involved, then that would change the situation, but in reality, the university has apologized for its actions, so that seems to shut the door on that. As BCSpace noted, it does look like someone was trying to push the boundaries and got caught.

Or is all of that too disturbing for your world view, and you'd rather just label someone who brings up such points as "self righteous" and scamper away from the situation?

All you are doing is pointing where you disagree with me and why.

Surely you understand that disagreeing with you isn't a flaw of reasoning though. :pardon:

I'm not going to respond to the rest of the post. It's just seems like more outlining why I'm not being as righteous as you are.

We've probably said all there is to say to each other about this at this point. :)

Link to comment

The Savior refused to rail against people who executed him. I think we can try and do likewise about those who perform a minor act against a symbol representing Him.

Not so; he had plenty to say in condemnation about the rulers of the Jews who executed him, whited sepulchers that they were. I'm under no impression that the scriptures require us to ignore and not respond to those who denigrate that which is sacred to us.

Link to comment

Not so; he had plenty to say in condemnation about the rulers of the Jews who executed him, whited sepulchers that they were. I'm under no impression that the scriptures require us to ignore and not respond to those who denigrate that which is sacred to us.

Of course not and if this were just a verbal condemnation I would have no problem with it. Instead the student decided to make it a legal matter within the school. In other words, an attempt to force change. Jesus did not start a Political Action Group to force the Pharisees to stop denigrating him. Peter did not start a campaign of change to force the Roman Empire to admit they had done wrong by influencing Senators and trying to get the Emperor to act.

Link to comment

I'm not going to respond to the rest of the post. It's just seems like more outlining why I'm not being as righteous as you are.

Instead, you're going to continue with the self righteous accusation in hopes of getting a rise out of me - not that you've really presented anything particularly cogent so far in response.

I do find it fascinating, however, that you retreated so quickly into an accusation of self righteousness when the flaws in your rationalizations were pointed out. I mean, for heaven's sake, to make the statement that the professor said he was Christian, so it's Obvious that he didn't intend to be offensive is absolutely priceless! Let me guess - you must let anti-Mormons off the hook for the same reason, since some of them claim to be "Christians" too! And it gets better; in post #53, you ignore the fact that the university apologized (which they wouldn't do if threats were involved) and equate what he did with Muslim extremist intolerance! Did I miss the call for Jihad somewhere in the news reports?

So go ahead and keep the accusations of self righteousness coming, bluebell, along with all the sarcastic smiley faces you're using. It'll be interesting.

Link to comment

Of course not and if this were just a verbal condemnation I would have no problem with it. Instead the student decided to make it a legal matter within the school. In other words, an attempt to force change. Jesus did not start a Political Action Group to force the Pharisees to stop denigrating him. Peter did not start a campaign of change to force the Roman Empire to admit they had done wrong by influencing Senators and trying to get the Emperor to act.

And Paul didn't appeal to Caesar in his defense.

Perhaps you can refer to where he decided to make it a legal matter concerning the experiment itself. My impression was that it would become a legal matter if the university continued his suspension - which he has every right to do.

Link to comment

Instead, you're going to continue with the self righteous accusation in hopes of getting a rise out of me - not that you've really presented anything particularly cogent so far in response.

I do find it fascinating, however, that you retreated so quickly into an accusation of self righteousness when the flaws in your rationalizations were pointed out. I mean, for heaven's sake, to make the statement that the professor said he was Christian, so it's Obvious that he didn't intend to be offensive is absolutely priceless! Let me guess - you must let anti-Mormons off the hook for the same reason, since some of them claim to be "Christians" too! And it gets better; in post #53, you ignore the fact that the university apologized (which they wouldn't do if threats were involved) and equate what he did with Muslim extremist intolerance! Did I miss the call for Jihad somewhere in the news reports?

So go ahead and keep the accusations of self righteousness coming, bluebell, along with all the sarcastic smiley faces you're using. It'll be interesting.

You can keep telling me how wrong and horrible i am if you would like, but on my end, I really and sincerely mean it when I say that I'm just going to agree to disagree and move on.

The smiley faces are my sincere attempt to let you know the tone of my posts-that I'm not posting in anger and am having no bad feelings.

I'm not going to read any of your posts since there's no longer a reason to. I don't say that in anger but just so you know why I'm not responding to you any more.

:)

Link to comment

And Paul didn't appeal to Caesar in his defense.

Perhaps you can refer to where he decided to make it a legal matter concerning the experiment itself. My impression was that it would become a legal matter if the university continued his suspension - which he has every right to do.

I should have said quasi-legal matter by complaining about it publicly and filing complaints within the university.

He has the right to do so just like he had the right to file a complaint and make a fuss. I am just saying that unless this story is as sensationalist as this article suggest he was an idiot to do so.

Oh, and Paul appealed after legal charges were brought against him. He did not initiate them.

Link to comment

You can keep telling me how wrong and horrible i am if you would like, but on my end, I really and sincerely mean it when I say that I'm just going to agree to disagree and move on.

The smiley faces are my sincere attempt to let you know the tone of my posts-that I'm not posting in anger and am having no bad feelings.

I'm not going to read any of your posts since there's no longer a reason to. I don't say that in anger but just so you know why I'm not responding to you any more.

:)

Well, I'm glad to see that you were finally able to post this without an accusation of self righteousness buried in it. Perhaps you don't realize it, but when you accuse someone of being self righteous and continue with that accusation as you did in every one of your subsequent posts, it becomes rather painfully evident that you're not "just" disagreeing. I have a habit of starting to respond in kind when someone does that, so I'm glad that it's not going to go any further at this point.

Link to comment

I should have said quasi-legal matter by complaining about it publicly and filing complaints within the university.

He has the right to do so just like he had the right to file a complaint and make a fuss. I am just saying that unless this story is as sensationalist as this article suggest he was an idiot to do so.

Oh, and Paul appealed after legal charges were brought against him. He did not initiate them.

Filing complaints within the university is an entirely appropriate thing to do, and should bring no action against the complainant in and of itself. If I read the chronology of events correctly, it did not become public until after the university had suspended him. Suspensions of that sort do have legal implications, so in this case it would appear to be consistent with what Paul did.

If the chronology of events is that he objected to the experiment, expressed that objection to the university, was suspended as a result, and then went public with what was happening, I would suggest that he was not only not an idiot to do so, but was doing the right thing, without regard to how sensational the actual situation with the professor was. Note that the university has apologized for what it did and will no longer allow the experiment to be performed. That is a revealing clue as to what probably really happened.

Link to comment

One of the rationalizations that has been used on this thread in defense of the professor is that the lesson wasn't intended to offend anyone. I find it difficult to support such a claim. An experienced professor teaching this lesson could not be unaware that at least some deeply believing Christians would find the exercise offensive. Even someone new to the lessons would, if they had any kind of coherent thought process, realize that it could be potentially offensive. Hence, if the professor made the claim that this exercise wasn't intended to offend, but let the exercise flow without prior explanation, it would be disingenuous at best, and dishonest at worst.

In fact the exercise seems to have been designed to deeply offend some.

Link to comment

Of course not and if this were just a verbal condemnation I would have no problem with it. Instead the student decided to make it a legal matter within the school. In other words, an attempt to force change. Jesus did not start a Political Action Group to force the Pharisees to stop denigrating him. Peter did not start a campaign of change to force the Roman Empire to admit they had done wrong by influencing Senators and trying to get the Emperor to act.

Having been to academia I think he did just the right thing. If the Prof ignores or rejects your complaint it must go higher. I myself have gone to department heads and at one point to the provost on issues.

Link to comment

Filing complaints within the university is an entirely appropriate thing to do, and should bring no action against the complainant in and of itself. If I read the chronology of events correctly, it did not become public until after the university had suspended him. Suspensions of that sort do have legal implications, so in this case it would appear to be consistent with what Paul did.

If the chronology of events is that he objected to the experiment, expressed that objection to the university, was suspended as a result, and then went public with what was happening, I would suggest that he was not only not an idiot to do so, but was doing the right thing, without regard to how sensational the actual situation with the professor was. Note that the university has apologized for what it did and will no longer allow the experiment to be performed. That is a revealing clue as to what probably really happened.

Of course filing a complaint should not in theory cause issues. You would have to be a naive moron though to imagine that they do not in practice cause issues.

Having been to academia I think he did just the right thing. If the Prof ignores or rejects your complaint it must go higher. I myself have gone to department heads and at one point to the provost on issues.

I have also been to academia. This is the kind of situation that deserves some eye rolling and maybe becoming an amusing story to tell your friends later. Filing a complaint was stupid. All it is likely to do is create controversy, jeapordize your educational prospects at the institution, and cause issues. On the plus side you might end up in a minor article on a newsite no one realistically trusts.

If this were due to racism, unfair grading practices, intense anti-Christian diatribes, or not working with someone disabled then yes, a complaint would be justified. Complaining about this is pointless. At best you should chat with the professor in a kind and respectful manner. If a person thinks escalating something this puerile is not going to cause you academic difficulties then I have no idea how the person managed to apply to a university. Maybe they had help?

Link to comment

In fact the exercise seems to have been designed to deeply offend some.

Yes, that was the point. To make them realize what simple things offend and how important symbols are.

“He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool.” -Brigham Young

Link to comment

Of course filing a complaint should not in theory cause issues. You would have to be a naive moron though to imagine that they do not in practice cause issues.

Which is the whole problem with public higher education. Keep your mouth shut, and agree with us, and we may give you a decent grade for all the money we've taken from you.

Link to comment

Personally I think rotela blew the whole thing out if proportion. I had a kid that sounds just like him in one of my religion classes and it was not fun.

It is possible. But some of the comments on the ratemyprofessor state that the prof is really arrogant, IIRC (others adore him so who knows...sometimes it is just a matter of someone's teaching style not matching up to a student's expectations).

I think it could be an overreaction and it might not be. It all depends on how the professor actually presented it. I would like to hear from other students in the class.

Link to comment

However, it is impossible to also understand that the author of the text was more than culpable when there are hundred, if not thousands, of alternative symbols that could have been used. What was the agenda in choosing the name of Jesus Christ?

More than likely because it is one of the most common symbol associated the most commonly believed faiths in the US, thus most likely to have strong symbolic meaning to the students. Plus it is a symbol for an actual being and not a symbol of a symbol or an object such as a cross would be, thus likely having more personal feeling attached to it....it is seen as the name of God to most in the US even if they don't actually believe.

The lesson is seen as working best if there is a strong reaction rather than a weak or nonexistent one.

Link to comment
Rotela said Poole brushed him off when he tried to object to doing the exercise.

After the class, Rotela said, he expressed his concerns to Poole and said he would tell Poole’s supervisor and the media about the incident.

If the professor really brushed him off, he was not following the agenda of the actual lesson which would have been about dealing with the students' feelings, including being offended.

However, Rotela not only stated after class that he was going to complain to his supervisor, but stated he was going to take it to the media. It seems to me he should have waited to see what the supervisor and if necessary in his view after that the university's actions would be before threatening to take it public. I do see that as a threat to make the university and the professor look bad as opposed to trying to actually resolve the situation first.

If Rotela's description is accurate, then it seems to me there were mistakes made on both sides.

Link to comment

If the professor really brushed him off, he was not following the agenda of the actual lesson which would have been about dealing with the students' feelings, including being offended.

However, Rotela not only stated after class that he was going to complain to his supervisor, but stated he was going to take it to the media. It seems to me he should have waited to see what the supervisor and if necessary in his view after that the university's actions would be before threatening to take it public. I do see that as a threat to make the university and the professor look bad as opposed to trying to actually resolve the situation first.

If Rotela's description is accurate, then it seems to me there were mistakes made on both sides.

I would love to know what the "threat" to the professor was that got the student suspended.

Link to comment

I would assume it was the threat to go to the media considering how important reputation is to universities and therefore professors. But perhaps that is not enough in most people's view.

Link to comment

If the professor really brushed him off, he was not following the agenda of the actual lesson which would have been about dealing with the students' feelings, including being offended.

However, Rotela not only stated after class that he was going to complain to his supervisor, but stated he was going to take it to the media. It seems to me he should have waited to see what the supervisor and if necessary in his view after that the university's actions would be before threatening to take it public. I do see that as a threat to make the university and the professor look bad as opposed to trying to actually resolve the situation first.

If Rotela's description is accurate, then it seems to me there were mistakes made on both sides.

Brushing a student off in a situation like this, where deeply held beliefs are involved, is not just a mistake; it's a significant mistake. It creates a hostile environment for the student, especially when the whole exercise is about communicating feelings. You can't, as a professor, create a situation like this and then refuse to address it. I'm not surprised that in the heat of the moment after class, Rotela said he would go to the media; it appears the professor wasn't exactly accommodating about feelings after the class, either. If an exercise like this ends up with the professor ordering him out of the class, then the professor is most likely to blame for letting things get out of control.

In reality, it doesn't appear that Rotela went to the media until after the university had retaliated for his complaining and suspended him from the class. Finally, we have the university apologizing for the incident and saying that the exercise will not be repeated. If Rotela had actually been that threatening, then we wouldn't be seeing that.

It would appear that Rotela's only real possible mistake would be threatening to go to the media - a threat that was probably made in the heat of the moment. That apparently didn't happen, but that didn't stop the professor and the university from punishing him. He then went to the media, something that he probably was actually wanting to avoid, but did so once the situation became intolerable.

Given what we know now, it seems to me that the lion's share of fault in this situation lies with the professor and the university.

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...